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The role of beliefs, trust, and risk in contributions to a public good

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Author Info

  • Kocher, Martin G.

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Munich)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Matzat, Dominik

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Munich)

  • Wollbrant, Conny

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

This paper experimentally investigates the role of beliefs, trust, and risk in shaping cooperative behavior. By applying incentivized elicitation methods to measure these concepts, we find that beliefs about others’ behavior and trust are positively associated with cooperation in a public goods game. However, even though contributing unconditionally to a public good resembles a situation of making decisions under risk, elicited risk preferences do not seem to explain cooperation in a systematic way.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/24123
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 482.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 12 Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0482

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Related research

Keywords: Public goods; cooperation; risk preferences; trust; experiment;

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References

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  1. Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.
  2. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  3. Simon Gaechter & Elke Renner, 2006. "The Effects of (Incentivized) Belief Elicitation in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2006-16, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  4. Bellemare, Charles & Kröger, Sabine, 2003. "On Representative Trust," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,27, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  5. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2001. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Working Papers 01-01-003, Santa Fe Institute.
  8. Martin G. Kocher & Todd L. Cherry & Stephan Kroll & Robert J. Netzer & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Conditional cooperation on three continents," Working Papers 2007-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  9. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gachter, 2010. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 541-56, March.
  10. Eckel, Catherine C. & Wilson, Rick K., 2004. "Is trust a risky decision?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 447-465, December.
  11. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2003. "A Nation-Wide Laboratory. Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioral Experiments into Representative Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 866, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
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  14. Gary Charness & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2009. "Cooperation and Competition in Intergenerational Experiments in the Field and the Laboratory," Working Papers 0931, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  15. Leonard, Tammy & Croson, Rachel T.A. & de Oliveira, Angela C.M., 2010. "Social capital and public goods," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 474-481, August.
  16. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2004. "Social Capital and Contributions in a Public-Goods Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 373-376, May.
  19. Gary Charness & Marie Claire Villeval, 2009. "Cooperation and Competition in Intergenerational Experiments in the Field and in the Laboratory," Post-Print halshs-00371984, HAL.
  20. Bellemare, Charles & Kröger, Sabine, 2004. "On Representative Social Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 1145, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Laura Schechter, 2005. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural paraguay," Artefactual Field Experiments 00106, The Field Experiments Website.
  22. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  23. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2003. "Playing both roles in the trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-216, June.
  24. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
  25. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  26. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2004. "Cooperation Under the Threat of Expulsion in a Public Goods Experiment," Working Papers 2004-05, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  27. Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & Schupp, Jürgen & von Rosenbladt, Bernhard & Wagner, Gert Georg, 2003. "A Nationwide Laboratory Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioural Experiments into Representative Surveys," CEPR Discussion Papers 3858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Michalis Drouvelis & Julian C. Jamison, 2012. "Selecting public goods institutions: who likes to punish and reward?," Working Papers 12-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Kocher, Martin G. & Martinsson, Peter & Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. & Wollbrant, Conny, 2012. "Strong, Bold, and Kind: Self-Control and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas," Discussion Papers in Economics 12706, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Robert Oxoby, 2013. "Paretian dictators: constraining choice in a voluntary contribution game," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 125-138, June.

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